Adorno on Music by Robert Winston Witkin

By Robert Winston Witkin

Adorno is likely one of the top cultural thinkers of the 20 th century. this is often the 1st exact account of Adorno's texts on song from a sociological standpoint. In transparent, non-technical language, Robert Witkin courses the reader in the course of the complexities of Adorno's argument concerning the hyperlink among song and morality and among musical works and social constitution. It used to be principally via those works Adorno validated the proper of the humanities to be stated as an ethical and demanding strength within the improvement of a latest society. through recuperating them for non-musicologists, Witkin provides immeasurably to our appreciation of this significant of twentieth-century concept

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The reconciling of individual and society, personal freedom and collective constraint, subject and object, part and whole, is not merely ideological; it is an urgent practical problem in the construction of bourgeois life. To some extent, bourgeois societies have, as a matter of practical daily life, to achieve an accommodation between these poles, a degree of equilibration, however tense or imperfect. Failure to cooperate adequately in the efficient construction of a social order in and through which the projects of individuals can be realised means the failure of those projects.

Where city-based production is decisively distanced from nature, where it involves a significant degree of manufacture, then society become a producer proper. Such production takes place at a remove from nature. It involves individuals not only in 'freely' initiating and developing production and commercial enterprise but also in entering into co-operative relations with others to produce the environment - political, social and economic - in which the projects of 'free' citizens can be fulfilled .

With Lukacs, the situation is quite different. Critical Realism as a method for progressive art and literature did not serve to confirm or validate bourgeois claims concerning organic individuation, as Durkheirn's notion of organic solidarity sought to do. Quite the contrary: a genuinely critical realism served to expose the cracks and fissures, the fundamental contradictions, of bourgeois society; it gave rise to the realisation that subject and object, individual and society, simply don 't add up .

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